Bitcoin is the most widely accepted cryptocurrency at online gambling sites. Reasons why include that Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, and that it remains the most popular.
Unfortunately, Bitcoin’s popularity is also leading to some major headaches for gamblers.
The first is that the network is more congested than ever, which delays deposits and withdrawals. The second is that this coin has seen an increase in its fees.
Given that Bitcoin’s transaction speed and low fees were early selling points, it doesn’t hold as big of an advantage over traditional payment options as it once did.
Luckily, online gambling sites are adding more cryptocurrency options. This means you can enjoy the crypto advantages all over again with the right coins.
But what are the different cryptocurrencies that you can use at internet gambling sites? And what is each coin’s main benefit?
Find out as I cover a number of other cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin that you can gamble with.
If Bitcoin is the gold standard in the crypto world, Ethereum has become silver.
Ethereum is just like Bitcoin in that it runs on a blockchain, which is a public ledger where all transactions are recorded.
ETH utilizes smart contracts, or computer protocols that facilitate, verify, and enforce a cryptocurrency transaction.
These contracts define the rules and penalties for an agreement like any traditional contract would. But a smart contract also acts as something of a cyber policeman by enforcing the contracts.
He then ran a crowdsale for the project in 2014 and officially launched the coin in 2015.
This coin served as the catalyst for the DAO project, which was a movement for decentralized commercial and nonprofit organizations. The DAO project collapsed when hackers exploited a flaw in its system and siphoned off one third of the coin’s assets.
The Ethereum community split thereafter, with Ethereum Classic branching off its parent coin. But I’ve never actually seen Ethereum Classic used at online gambling sites.
As for ETH, its growing popularity has forced more internet gambling sites to adopt this coin. While not as popular as Bitcoin in gambling circles, Ethereum is certainly gaining steam.
Perhaps the greatest thing about ETH from a gaming perspective is that transaction fees are lower and cashouts are processed faster than Bitcoin, because the Ethereum network currently runs faster and cheaper than Bitcoin.
Litecoin is just like Bitcoin in that it’s a peer to peer cryptocurrency that runs on an open source network. The only difference is that Litecoin has essentially been called the faster version of Bitcoin.
Created by former Google employee Charlie Lee, this cryptocurrency launched in 2011. Litecoin quickly gained steam thanks to the fact that it had a faster block generation time than Bitcoin (2.5 minutes vs. 10 minutes) and offered a greater circulating supply of coins.
Litecoin was one of the first cryptocurrencies to reach a billion-dollar market capitalization, doing so in November 2013. By May 2017, Litecoin jumped into the top five cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization ($20 billion).
This coin went through some controversy when Lee sold off and donated all of his holdings. Lee said that he didn’t want a conflict of interest by holding a large stake in Litecoin.
But others said that he was merely trying to cash in on the coin’s rise to the top. Nevertheless, this event hasn’t hurt Litecoin’s standing in the crypto community or at online casinos.
Speaking of the latter, more and more internet gambling sites are adopting Litecoin than ever before. In fact, this is probably the third most popular cryptocurrency in online gambling today.
The one thing that really helps Litecoin’s cause is its faster block generation time. This means you can expect your deposits and cashouts to be processed faster at online gambling sites.
Ripple experienced a sharp rise in 2017. In fact, Ripple grew so much in price that cofounder Chris Larsen temporarily passed Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($74 billion) as the world’s fifth richest person.
XRP has since come down to a more reasonable value, but the publicity from its quick rise has made it more popular in the internet gambling world.
Ripple is better known for its digital payment protocol than as a crypto coin. Going further, XRP focuses on creating a seamless transfer of money in any currency, whether it be Bitcoin, the British pound, Yen, or Litecoin.
Essentially, Ripple is like a bridge between fiat and cryptocurrencies. Here’s an example that explains Ripple’s utility:
- Mark does work for Tim and wants to be paid in Bitcoin.
- Tim wants to pay Mark in euros.
- Ripple ensures that Tim’s euros get converted to Bitcoin.
Ripple’s main utility is that it facilitates a payment across multiple banks and exchanges within seconds. This quick transaction time ensures that neither currency takes a hit in value as the transfer is made.
Bitcoin was previously touted for its autonomous transactions, but this was disproven in 2013, when the US government busted the online black market operation known as Silk Road.
Monero has since sprung up in Bitcoin’s place in terms of the preferred anonymous cryptocurrency.
Like Bitcoin, Monero operates on an open source network and seeks to decentralize payment systems. But XMR has greater privacy features because it further obscures the sender and recipient of transactions.
That said, XMR has risen as the new favorite cryptocurrency for black market activities. It’s especially popular among hackers and illegitimate online publishers.
Obviously this doesn’t paint Monero in a reputable light, but this currency is good for online gamblers who want to keep their transactions anonymous.
Another benefit to using Monero at online casinos is that you don’t have to answer to third parties, such as with an eWallet or credit card company.
Dogecoin has gained fame for the fact that it was created as a joke on Bitcoin in December 2013. It features the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” online meme in its logo.
Creator Billy Markus developed Dogecoin has a fun alternative to Bitcoin that could potentially reach a wider audience. Furthermore, he wanted his coin to avoid being associated with other cryptocurrencies’ black market activities.
Markus officially launched DOGE in December 2013. He initially planned to offer 100 billion Dogecoins, but later changed this to have an infinite circulation.
But the coin didn’t officially reach a billion-dollar market capitalization until January 2018.
While not as popular as Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin in online gambling, DOGE is still accepted at a fair number of sites. We could very well see Dogecoin continue spreading to more internet casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks due to its rising popularity.
ECR20 is an Ethereum backed digital currency that is found at sports betting and esports gambling operations.
Those who develop projects or run online gambling sites can offer their own specific token through the ECR20 platform.
Edgeless, which I’ll discuss next, is actually a token that’s derived from ECR20. Another example is how FunFair casinos offer FunFair tokens.
The advantage of using ECR20, as opposed to just accepting Ethereum, is that users can customize and brand their currency. The only limitation is that the tokens must follow the standard rules of the Ethereum network.
ECR20’s biggest downside is that the customized tokens can only be used with the gambling sites or other businesses that create them. In other words, you can’t use FunFair tokens at Edgeless, or vice versa.
But you can always convert your tokens to Ethereum and use this as a payment medium, or to convert funds to fiat.
Edgeless is more than just a token based on ECR20. Instead, this company is revolutionizing the online gaming world with a casino that doesn’t have a house edge (hence “edgeless”).
Obviously this is very attractive to gamblers, because you’d be on a level playing field with casinos.
Edgeless hasn’t launched their internet casino yet, but some of the games that they plan on featuring include blackjack, poker, roulette, and sports betting.
Let’s look at roulette for an example of what you can expect when Edgeless launches:
- A normal European roulette wheel has 37 numbers, including a single zero pocket.
- The zero pocket is where casinos gain their 2.70% house edge on roulette (1/37).
- Edgeless roulette would only have 36 numbers and exclude the zero pocket.
I assume that blackjack would be altered so that the rules lead to a 0% house edge, but the difference between Edgeless roulette and blackjack is that you have to use strategy with the latter.
HEROcoin is another cryptocurrency that’s predicated on internet gambling, and its marketing has specifically been geared towards the esports and sports betting communities.
HERO is essentially doing the same thing as Edgeless by cutting out the house edge, but the only difference is that they’re catering to sports bettors rather than casino game players.
As you may know, online sportsbooks take 10% of the action from the losing side. This is referred to as the sportsbook’s “juice” or “vigorish.”
HEROcoin is designed on blockchain technology that doesn’t take money from either side in a sports bet. This means that you don’t have to both out think and overcome the juice to be a long-term winner.
HERO must prove that its technology and philosophy can work first. But assuming this is the case, then I can’t see any reason why esports and traditional sports bettors wouldn’t want to use this platform.
Bitcoin may have started the cryptocurrency trend in the online gambling world, but other coins and blockchain projects are creating more competition in the space.
This is definitely a good thing for online gamblers, because they have a growing number of options.
I personally like using Ethereum and Litecoin over Bitcoin at online casinos, since these coins both process transactions faster and have lower fees.
But considering how cryptocurrencies are just now taking off, I look for future products to supplant what’s currently offered. And if this doesn’t happen, we can at least expect improvements in the major cryptocurrencies so that they’re even better for users.
Another thing I’m excited about is the casinos and sportsbooks that are cutting the house edge.
Throughout time it’s always been a given that the casino will have an advantage over players, but Edgeless and HEROcoin are creating unique blockchain gambling sites that give players a 50/50 shot to win with any bet.
Again, we’re still in the early portion of the crypto evolution, and it’s very possible that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will completely change internet gambling in the near future.